As you may remember from my post Spirituality as a Mother, I have been trying to use nap-time as prayer time using the iBreviary app on my phone. I usually pray the Office of Readings each afternoon, and in the past week, the homilies and meditations on the Holy Spirit have been really wonderful.
Since today is Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, here’s a quote from the Office of Readings for this past Monday, with an image of the Holy Spirit, that is now very dear to me since reading this:
But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water; plants and animals have their origin in water. Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.
In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of this action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvelous.
The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.
This beautiful explanation of the Holy Spirit’s work in our souls is from St. Cyril of Jerusalm (313-386 AD). How true that water is always the same, but when used by each plant, it helps each to grow in its own unique way, into what God intends it to be. So too, the Holy Spirit!
This Pentecost, I want to be more open to Water that is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. How exactly will they bear fruit in my life? In ways different than anyone else, let me grow and discover God’s design for my life, my talents, and my gifts.